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Media Releases: August 5, 2003

Durbin Creek Elementary School (DCES) will hold its first day of school on Friday, August 15, one week after all other St. Johns County Schools open. Students will come to school at staggered times so that specific groups of students may visit their classrooms with their parents.

The cause for the delay is that construction of the new school is behind schedule and will not be ready for the first day of class. The school district was first informed by the contractor on Monday, August 4, that all classrooms would not be finished as originally planned.

The first day for kindergarten students will be Tuesday, August 19. Their arrival times will be staggered throughout the first week so that only seven students will be in each class each day. By Monday, August 25, all kindergarten students should be in their respective classes.

Superintendent Joseph Joyner made the decision to delay the opening of school after meeting with parents and faculty and receiving input on whether to open with part of the school still under construction. Parents almost unanimously agreed that they wanted to wait until the building was substantially completed and that the safety of their children could be ensured.

David Toner, Executive Director for Facilities and Operations, said that a law enforcement officer will be on site during the opening days to provide security. No construction will be held during school hours, and workers will not be allowed on site until one-half hour after students leave campus. In addition, the Parent Teacher Organization will provide parents to serve as monitors and student escorts to make sure that students have safe passage.

The Superintendent is currently in communication with Education Commissioner Jim Horne to discuss the requirements of the five make-up days. The district will try to schedule this time to achieve maximum learning for students along with the least disruption to families.

“Our primary purpose now is to get school up and running and to see that students are provided with a safe and effective learning environment,” said Superintendent Joyner. “We’ll worry about the contractual obligations of the contractor at a later time.”



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St. Johns County School District
40 Orange St. St. Augustine, FL 32084 904.819.7500